I have these two pennies sitting on my dresser. They've been there for, oh, a couple of weeks. As fate would have it, my dresser is clean these days (or at least cleaner than it used to be), so I actually get to see these pennies every day as I'm getting dressed. And every day they remind me to slow down and take time for my daughters.
You see, at Meijer (the local grocery/department store), they have a mechanical horse named Sandy. Sandy only costs 1 cent to ride. A penny gets you a minute or so of toddler heaven. (This, along with looking at the fish, the lobsters, and the free cookie at the bakery, is what allows me to grocery shop with 2 kids. Without these crucial stopping points, it couldn't be done. I'd go insane.) Sometimes Sandy is out of order; for a while Sandy wasn't even in the store. But when she's there, I generally allow my girls to have a ride.
One day I was in a bit of a hurry, and Julia asked if she could ride the horse. "No, I'm sorry honey, we are in a rush, we've got to get home." The woman behind me in line said, "Oh, how long could it take, really? Two minutes?"
I'll admit, there was a part of me that was thinking, "HI! I'm The Mom! I get to make the choices about how much time we have. You are A Stranger! You have no say in my life. Shut your yap." But then I got thinking about what she said. And honestly? We usually have 2 minutes. We might be 2 minutes later getting home for lunch, but that is 2 minutes where my kids are happy, where they are wearing smiles and enjoying life.
I decided then and there that if the horse is working (and we really aren't pressed for time - sometimes appointments can't wait!), we will ride that horse. There was one day I had already gotten my pennies out of my wallet, only to find that the horse was out of order. I shoved them in my pocket and we headed home. That night, I set them on my dresser.
And there they sit. Reminding me that, really? You have 2 minutes. Slow down. Make them smile. Let them be happy, and not always rushed. Because those are the moments that make motherhood worth it.